Barry Newman's Blog

June 14, 2012

The Gospel and its Proclamation (part IX)

Filed under: Proclaiming the gospel,The Gospel — barrynewman @ 10:27 pm

“Euaggelion” in the Greek literature outside of the New Testament compared with “Euaggelion” in the New Testament

Using the TLG (Thesaurus Linguae Graeca) program I located 45 instances of the neuter noun “euaggelion” and its female equivalent “euaggelia” in the Greek literature external to the New Testament up until the beginning of the 2nd century AD.  Of course, “euaggelion” and “euaggelia” were found in various forms. There were 25 instances where the actual word, “euaggelia” occurred. Although it is not possible to be absolutely definitive as to whether a plural neuter form or a single feminine form was involved, the judgement as to whether or not a feminine or neuter form was in use was made, with some confidence,on the basis of the existence of other forms used in the particular source where the actual form, “euaggelia” was found.  As a result it was determined that there were 34 instances of the neuter noun “euaggelion” and 11 instances of the female equivalent “euaggelia”.

With respect to “euaggelion”, Plutarch supplied the bulk of the references (20) with a few multiple examples from Aristophanes (3), Appianus (3), Homer (2), Xenophon (2) and Isocrates, Aeschines, Diodorusus Siculus and Achilles Tatius (1 each).

Concerning “euaggelia”, 8 instances were found in the Septuagint and 3 in writings by Flavius Josephus.  In one of the instances in the Septuagint, the sense is probably something like a “reward” but its usage appears to involve a pun based on the sense of “good news”.  The messenger had brought what he thought was good news so he would have like to have received good news himself.

In what follows, given that there are no instances of the female noun in the New Testament, the focus is on the neuter noun, “euaggelion”.

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